Can Betta Fish Eat Bloodworms? (They Can, But…)

Are you looking for a snack that your betta fish will really love? You were thinking about blood worms, but you’re asking yourself:

Can betta fish eat bloodworms? Yes, betta fish can eat bloodworms. In fact, they love to eat them. You can feed your betta fish with all live, freeze-dried, and frozen bloodworms. But be careful, you must not overdo it!

In the following article, we’ll discuss what kind of bloodworms are best for your betta (aka. Siamese fighting fish), how many to feed, where to get them, and much more. Let’s get started!

Can Betta Fish Eat Bloodworms

Do Betta Fish Eat Bloodworms?

Yes, betta fish eat bloodworms. Bloodworms are a great source of nutrients for your fish. They are packed with protein and other nutrients that betta fish love to feed on.

From other nutrients, bloodworms contain natural color enhancer which helps to keep the betta’s body from fading out causing it to lose its natural color.

They’re also quite rich in iron which is essential for betta fish to maintain their health.

On the other hand, they lack other important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, which are essential for developing and breeding your betta.

Author Note: Feed betta fish bloodworms more as a food supplement and a treat. Bloodworms should not be the main part of the diet. Keep the diet varied for the best health of your betta fish.

Now, let’s discuss what the types of bloodworms you can feed to your betta fish are:

Live Bloodworms

Live bloodworms can be bought from any pet store in the market. Live bloodworms are also known as “fresh” or “wiggling” bloodworms because they wriggle and move when they are alive.

Unlike other types of Bloodworms, live bloodworm is more appetizing to betta fish and is more nutritious as well. Because live bloodworms have more nutrients in them, they are usually sold at a higher price.

Another advantage of live bloodworms is that they also turn your betta fish into a hunting mode. In the hunting mode, your betta fish will become more active, playful, and overall happier.

You have to remember that live bloodworms are not long-term food. They would only last for two to three days in your fridge, so plan according to that.

The other problem with live bloodworms is that they might have some bacteria and other microbes that might pose a threat to your betta fish.

If you’re going to buy live bloodworms, make sure that you check the expiration date and avoid the ones that have been expired.

Freeze-Dried Bloodworms

Freeze-dried bloodworms are the best alternative for live bloodworms because they can be kept in your fridge for a longer period of time. You can find it in most fish stores or pet stores.

They’re also quite easy to prepare, you just add few drops of water and mix the freeze-dried bloodworms. They will absorb the water.

After that, pour it in a bowl and you’re ready to feed your betta fish. One thing you should keep in mind is that you have to buy freeze-dried bloodworms with a high concentration of protein because betta fish love protein.

There are two grades of freeze-dried bloodworms, grade A and grade B. You should always aim to buy the grade A freeze-dried bloodworms as they’re much better for your betta fish.

The only negative thing I can say about freeze-dried bloodworms is that they don’t look appealing to betta fish. They are also not as nutritious as live ones but still, you should try them out. Mainly due to their easy storage.

Frozen Bloodworms

Frozen bloodworms are usually frozen when you buy them, and they have to be thawed out before use.

The freezing process causes the nutrients in bloodworms to be damaged, which is why frozen bloodworms are not as nutritious as live ones. But they are still great if you want to have betta food that you can keep for a long time (up to 6 months).

Another advantage of frozen bloodworms is that the freezing process killed most bacteria and microbes inside them. As a result, frozen bloodworms are safer for you to use compared to live and freeze-dried bloodworms.

bloodworms for betta fish

How Many Bloodworms Do You Feed a Betta Fish?

Although bloodworms are a great source of nutrients for your betta fish, they should not be overused. In the worst case, there is a risk of serious illness.

Let’s take a look at what the correct dosage is.

How Many Freeze-Dried Bloodworms to Feed Betta?

You should feed your betta fish with only one or a maximum of two freeze-dried bloodworms at once. Also, make sure to soak them into the water before.

The following method to recognize how many freeze-dried bloodworms to feed is to watch how many your betta fish can eat in two minutes. Then, after putting them into the aquarium, you should remove any bloodworms that your betta won’t eat in two minutes.

If you don’t, your betta will get overfed, and the leftover bloodworms will cause an ammonia spike in your aquarium.

Another thing you should keep in mind is to give bloodworms to your betta only once or twice per week.

How Many Frozen Bloodworms to Feed Betta?

With frozen bloodworms, it can be a little bit tricky to choose the perfect dosage. But you should never give one full cube to the betta fish.

Break the bloodworm’s frozen cube into pieces, let it unfreeze, and feed it to your betta fish. Then watch how much of it the betta can eat in two minutes. That’s approximately the right amount.

Make sure to remove any leftovers as they would cause an ammonia spike.

How Many Live Bloodworms to Feed Betta? 

One or two live bloodworms should be just right for your betta fish. Also, make sure there are no leftovers that could cause disease.

And do not feed them to your fish more than once or twice per week!

Risks of Feeding Betta With Too Many Bloodworms

Overfeeding betta with bloodworms is one of the most common mistakes made by betta fish owners. Unfortunately, this might lead to serious diseases, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

This section will explain the diseases betta fish can get when you feed them with too many bloodworms.

Betta Fish Obesity – Constipation and Swim Bladder Disease

Overfeeding your betta fish is a widespread mistake that people make. When you feed your betta fish too many bloodworms, they become obese.

Betta fish are not meant to be overweight because it’s unhealthy for them. They might end up being sick or even die.

Obese betta will have an enlarged belly, and it will be unable to swim properly anymore. Another problem overfeeding can cause is constipation.

Constipation can lead even to death because of prolapse. This is when the internal organs are out of place, especially the intestines in this case.

Obesity (overfeeding) can also lead to swim bladder disease. This is a disease that betta fish can get when they are overweight.

The cause for this disease is due to the air being trapped inside the swim bladder. This might lead to severe pains and end up killing the fish.

To prevent these diseases from happening, you have to limit the number of bloodworms you give to your betta fish at once.

Ammonia Spikes

Overfeeding your betta fish with bloodworms can also cause an ammonia spike in your aquarium. If your betta can’t eat all bloodworms, they’ll quickly start to rot, causing ammonia spikes in your fish tank.

The high levels of ammonia in the aquarium will be toxic for your betta fish and other creatures living in the tank, so it’s best to avoid that situation as much as possible.

Other Diseases

With every bloodworm you put into your fish tank, there’s a chance some bacteria or viruses can enter your aquarium and cause bacterial diseases.

A few different bacteria cause diseases like fin rot, respiratory problems, and more.

This is especially the case with live bloodworms.

You should always clean your betta tank often and with a good biological filter installed for this reason.

How to Feed Frozen Bloodworms to Betta?

Start by breaking a frozen cube of blood worms and letting it unfreeze. Then strain the resulting mixture to remove the water. The water could cause trouble for your betta because of different bacterias, etc.

Once you have done this, you can put the bloodworms in the aquarium. It is then important to remove any debris that your betta fish does not eat within a few minutes.

How to Feed Freeze-Dried Bloodworms to Betta?

First, soak the freeze-dried bloodworms in water and leave them in the water long enough for them to soak it up and expand to their original size.

If you don’t leave them in the water long enough, they will swell in the belly of your betta fish, which can be dangerous for it.

Once the freeze-dried bloodworms have absorbed the water, you can simply put them in your aquarium. But, again, be careful to remove any debris that your betta fish does not eat.

How to Feed Live Bloodworms to Betta?

Feeding live bloodworms is the easiest. Just put them in a fish tank (One or two maximum!). In addition, make sure you keep them in the fridge, and they are no more than 2-3 days old.

As always, you must remove any debris from the aquarium that your betta will not eat.

Why Will My Betta Only Eat Bloodworms?

When I see new betta fish owners, they will ask me why their betta fish only eats bloodworms. Well, it’s because they’re used to them, like them, and you’re feeding them all the time.

But the problem with this is that although your betta fish seems to like it, it’s very unhealthy. This is because only bloodworms don’t contain all the nutrients that bettas need for a healthy life. 

You need to be tough and for the love of your betta fish, stop it.

The best way to teach your betta fish to eat other food is to let it fast for one or two days and then give it betta pellets or flakes.

I’m pretty sure your betta will start eating them, and you won’t have this problem again.

Author Note: I know that you love your betta and want the best for it, but sometimes you just need to do the right thing. You also wouldn’t feed your kids with only pizza and cola, right?

Do All Bettas Like Bloodworms?

There is a common misconception that all Bettas love to chow down on bloodworms, but the fact of the matter is that many Bettas don’t even like these treats at all.

I would definitely say that bloodworms are an excellent treat for just about any Betta… but not all of them and not all of the time.

But the chances are that your betta fish will love them.

Can Betta Fry Eat Bloodworms?

It depends on how old the betta fry is, but generally, we can say that it won’t eat bloodworms. This is because they’re usually way too big for them.

Another reason is that betta fry primarily eats food that moves. So it is generally not recommended to give bloodworms to betta fry.

You can feed them with infusoria or brine shrimp nauplii instead.

Where to Buy Bloodworms?

You can get bloodworms from pet stores, bait shops, or online. They can be shipped to you in the mail in ice packs so that they stay fresh until you need them. You may need a large number of bloodworms if you have a large tank with multiple fish.

You can also buy them on Amazon.

Bloodworms are relatively cheap and a great treat for your betta fish, so make sure to buy them here and there to mix the diet for your betta.

What Other Insects You Can Feed to Your Betta?

Besides bloodworms, you can also feed these to your betta fish:

Plus more.


To sum it up, betta fish can eat bloodworms, but it should be in moderation as with everything.

In moderation means no more than once or twice a week one or two bloodworms.

Another important thing to remember is that you should never put water in an aquarium that bloodworms have been bought in. This should help you to avoid diseases.


Image credits – Canva

[1] Culture of bloodworm

[2] Frequently asked questions on ammonia

[3] Swim bladder disease

You May Also Like